ABSTRACT

Per capita output of rice is higher in Sierra Leone than in any other country in the West African Rice Zone. Any difficulty over the rice harvest is a crisis of national importance. Colonial administrators first became sensitive to rice as a food security issue after a major harvest failure in 1918. This crisis prompted the idea that food security might be facilitated by the adoption of Asian wet-rice cultivation techniques. This chapter traces the fate of this proposal, and of subsequent rice development policies in colonial Sierra Leone, as a prelude to an examination of recent initiatives inspired by the Green Revolution in Asia. Rather than rekindling an enthusiasm for the technology transfer option, however, Glanville’s visit served to reinforce the importance of in-country research. Successful rice polders are found in both Burma and Guyana and the Sierra Leone scheme may have owed its inspiration to both these examples.